Colorado Parks and Wildlife releases summary of stakeholder recommendations for wolf reintroduction
The Stakeholder Advisory Group for gray wolf reintroduction, the counterpart to the Technical Working Group, has finished its final summary of recommendations for the state’s restoration and management plan.
The Keystone Policy Center presented the summary at Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s meeting on Nov. 17.
According to a Parks and Wildlife news release, the policy center highlighted four “cross-cutting themes” in the group’s report:
- Restoration of wolves with thriving ungulate populations, rural communities and agricultural communities
- Using science-based, adaptive and impact-based management at the local level
- Leaving wolves wherever they are if they are not causing problems, minimizing conflict and addressing issues on a case-by-case basis using a variety of management tools
- Critical need for long-term funding as well as outreach and engagement
Parks and Wildlife officials will prioritize the stakeholder group’s recommendations when forming the final reintroduction plan.
The group convened wolf advocates, ranchers, hunters, outfitters and conservationists to consider the social, economic and scientific aspects of wolf reintroduction, according to the press release. The group wrote in its report that it reached consensus on important issues through their 15 monthly meetings.
The stakeholder report is available at WolfEngagementCO.org, as is the Technical Working Group’s report from August. Parks and Wildlife staff will use the reports to create a plan and present it to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission at a virtual meeting on Dec. 9. The commission will take public input at five meetings throughout January and February in 2023.
Reid DeWalt, assistant director of aquatic, terrestrial and natural resources, as saying the agency is on track to complete gray wolf reintroduction by the end of 2023, according to the news release.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to develop a 10(j) designation, which would would designate Colorado’s wolves as an experimental population and give Parks and Wildlife more flexibility for managing gray wolves in Colorado.
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